How the Citizens Basic Income, (no) Growth, and Fracking are linked

Two FT links this week. The first questions the value of GDP as a measure, and even quotes Robert Skidelsky advocating a Basic Income as an alternative to growth! Rather than redistribute wealth better, as Skidelsky advocates via a basic income, the thinking is to enlarge the pie further. That obliges us to stay on a constant growth trajectory. According to Skidelsky “It’s growth without end and without purpose.” Apart from me nit-picking that neither the article nor Skidelsky link these ideas with ecological Limits to Growth, I could have stopped blogging, packed up and gone home. Someone with considerably more influence than me is saying what I have been saying all these years.
But any euphoria that battles were near to being won, or even that there was light at the end of a tunnel was quickly brought back to reality by the second FT article “New York fracking stalled by court ruling”.
“Jim Worden regrets saying no to the gas companies. As he and they were haggling over new terms, New York State issued a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing”.
We eco-freaks should be pleased. The article deplores the success of measures to hamper fracking in some parts of the USA. But what it also makes clear is not only how firmly established fracking is, but how unstoppable its advance will be as long as growth remains ‘essential’. Methane released but not captured risks runaway global warming long before those in power have listened to Skidelsky. It is a risk there is no need to take. Organized on a sustainable basis, we already have enough resources and technology to provide for the present world population. Technological innovation will continue, but each development can be considered on its sustainable merits. Fracking fails this test.
So expect a few more blogs yet.

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